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Brute-force malware targets email and FTP servers

Brute-force malware targets email and FTP servers

Researchers find Fort Disco malware variants launching brute force password guessing attacks against POP3 and FTP servers

September 30, 2013, 12:15 PM — A piece of malware designed to launch brute-force password guessing attacks against websites built with popular content management systems like WordPress and Joomla has started being used to also attack email and FTP servers.

The malware is known as Fort Disco and was documented in August by researchers from DDoS mitigation vendor Arbor Networks who estimated that it had infected over 25,000 Windows computers and had been used to guess administrator account passwords on over 6,000 WordPress, Joomla and Datalife Engine websites.

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What are the benefits of a CMS?

If you don't know what a content management system (CMS) is, please read what it is before reading this article.

Now that you understand what a content management system is, what are the benefits of having one built or installed for your site? Are they really worth all the money that people are spending on them? According to Gartner Dataquest, $10.5 billion will be spent in 2003 on content management systems. Is that just a waste of money, or are there compelling reasons for making an investment in your business?

So, on to the article itself, What are the benefits of a CMS?

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Recent Comments
To me, the CMS seems more like a business partner or professional looking over your shoulder and ensuring that everything is done ... Read More
Thursday, 26 September 2013 21:28
I agree with Mike, but be very careful you got a good game plan because you don't want to leave a website looking like a park page... Read More
Monday, 30 September 2013 20:43
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So you know you need a Website. Now What?

So you know you need a Website. Now What?

So you need a website. If you’ve never gone through this process before, or even if you have, chances are you have a lot of questions. Here are seven tips to point you in the right direction:

  1. What is your message? This is the basis for all marketing, and if you have a marketing strategy, you’ll already know the answer to this. Is it that you sell the cheapest widgets? Is it that your business prides itself on its unparalleled customer service? Is it that you have the largest selection of whatsits in North America and you have a no-questions-asked return policy? Take a moment and think: if you had thirty seconds to talk about your business, what you would say?
  2. What do you need your website to do? Will your website provide information on your product or service? Would you like to sell your product or service online? Will your website collect money? Donations? Will it have a help section? Media gallery? Write a blog? Make a list.
  3.  How will you measure success? A website is great marketing tool, but how do you know if it’s working? What action do you want your user to complete for you to consider their visit a success? Sign up for your newsletter? Fill out a form and hit submit? Make a purchase? Call?  
  4. Consider your budget. What you want to spend may not be in line with what features you want.  When you do meet with a web designer, talk candidly about your needs and your budget. Your web designer may be able to make suggestions that bridge the gap between need and cost.  
  5. Sketch out a sitemap. A sitemap is the blueprint of your website. This exercise also helps you wrap your mind around the entire endeavor. Remember that in your main navigation, you may not want more than 7-8 links. Any more than this could overwhelm your users. Sub pages are a great way to lump together complimentary pages and keep your site neat and tidy.  
  6. Scope out your competition. See what your competition is up to. See what similar businesses in different markets are doing. Bookmark sites that have features you like but also bookmark sites with design elements or features you don’t like. Your preferences will be very meaningful to your designer.  
  7. Hire somebody or DIY? The internet flooded with ads for free websites, templates or websites, that you can set up with minutes and it’s logical to be tempted to take these on yourself. However it is important to analyse what is being offered to ensure it meets the needs of your business. Also consider:

a: Free websites are tell-tale plain and generic. Although free websites may look tempting in the short run, you may pay for your free website in other ways. Sales may be lost if the website template has been used by many other businesses or if it fails to inspire confidence or seems inappropriate for your business. We all have expectations of how certain things should work or look. Whether conscious of it or not, a user has expectations of your site and if it fails to match that expectation, they may be confused.

b: Low cost sites that set up in minutes. Some websites claim to be able to install in minutes, and if you’re a programmer who knows what you’re doing, this can be true. Frequently people with little to no experience dive into these sites and after a month of frustration have little to nothing to show for it. Look for references or examples of other people who have used the templates to see if it really is that easy. 

If the free or low cost route can satisfy the first three points above, why not give it a go? If it doesn’t, then you should seek a professional to ensure your site is successful. If you want to try the free route, consult a designer for recommendations of reputable options; you may pay a consultation fee, but it’s money well spent if it saves you from going in the wrong direction.

By having a good idea of what your needs are before meeting with a website designer your meeting will be more meaningful. The more planning you do in advance means a more organized project. A more organized project can mean less cost. Have a clear idea of what you want, but keep an open mind; your web designer may have some ideas to make your vision even better.

Article originally posted on http://www.smallbusinessbc.ca/

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The Pros and Cons of Email Marketing and Social Media

The Pros and Cons of Email Marketing and Social Media

The Pros of Email Marketing

  1. It’s fairly easy to maintain a mailing list. 
  2. It’s not free, but it’s certainly cheaper than other forms of direct marketing. 
  3. Measurable ROI (much more measurable than social media!) and measurable analytics. 
  4. Unlimited functionality. You can write a 17-page thesis, add a ton of photos, Vine videos and attachments and send it via email if you want (probably not the best idea for marketing purposes, but still cool that you CAN). 
  5. Almost everybody online uses email (it’s by far the most popular online activity). 
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Web Design for Non-Profits

If you are running a non-profit organization, you may be considering building an Internet presence in order to maximize your organization's exposure.

Whether your organization is in education, human services or the arts, it will benefit greatly from utilizing the Internet.

We understand that creating a web presence for a non-profit has some unique challenges. This is because websites belonging to non-profits need to be accessed and updated by volunteers, who may not have any IT skills. A non-profit organization's website also needs to have the capacity to accept donations. One of the biggest problems relating to non-profits and web design is budget. Non-profits often require a technically brilliant website, but do not always have the funds to achieve it.

Ask our web design consultants about content management. Ideally, you want volunteers at your non-profit to be able to add fresh content to your website when needed. However, you want to avoid consultants who charge fees for enabling you to do this. If you plan to accept donations via your website, it is important you register with a reputable payment gateway. PayPal is a reputable gateway and your consultant can integrate it into your organization's website.

You should also ask your web design consultant to make your site visitor friendly. Talk to us for more information on web design for non-profits.

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